PETE BROWN Living Life Backwards (Best Of) |
Poet, musician and 1960s underground counter-culture face, Brown came to prominence as co-writer with Jack Bruce of seminal Cream material including 'Politician', 'I Feel Free' and 'White Room'. Their success brought him to the attention of the nascent Harvest label, which EMI had just marched into the emergent progressive boom in a frenzy of signing.
Drawn from Brown's work during 1969-1970 with his bands Battered Ornaments and Piblokto! and their albums ('A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark', 'Thousands On A Raft' and the marvellously-monickered 'Things May Come And Things May Go, But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever') plus rare singles, this compilation showcases some great wordplay and a keen ear for hooks evidenced across singer-songwriter balladeering ('Station Song Platform Two'), jazz infused prog ('Dark Lady'), heavy rock ('Aeroplane Head Woman') and 'eccentricurios' ('Flying Hero Sandwich').
With talent including Rob Tait, Roger Bunn, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Chris Spedding, this generous 79-minute cutaway of early 70s rock reveals dashes of contemporary influences from Jack Bruce, Stray, Keef Hartley and Colosseum and is the aural equivalent of finding and putting on a much-loved greatcoat.
An engaging period piece, it's another well-assembled, mid-price package from a top catalogue. Recommended.
Review by Peter Muir